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Public views on windfarm plans

Plans for a 17 turbine wind farm on the Careston Estate will soon be submitted to the Scottish Government following a period of public consultation.

Public feedback on the Nathro Hill Wind Farm proposal has helped shape both the final design and the planning application, which will be submitted to the Scottish Government for decision-making.

The public consultation on the wind farm found that 64% of respondents from the Lethnot area thought that the chosen site was suitable for a wind farm, with 57% showing support for the project itself.

Respondents from the Brechin area and beyond showed more mixed views about the proposal with around a third supportive, a third against and a third still unsure about the project.

Overall there were 81 completed questionnaires, with 39% of those returning them thinking the proposed location off the Nathro Hill wind farm being a suitable one, 40% thinking it was unsuitable and 20% unsure about the suitability.

Concerns about the potential impact of wind farm traffic on local roads during the construction period and the location of the proposed electricity sub-station were specifically raised during the consultation, leading Eurowind to undertake further discussions with the community which has led to amendments to the proposal.

Ian Lindsay, development director of Eurowind UK said: “We recognise the concerns raised, that road conditions in the area could worsen further during the construction period, so we have given this additional consideration across our transport assessment.

“We are pleased to suggest some road improvements in advance of starting work that would be a direct benefit from the construction of the wind farm.

“These will help ensure there is a worthwhile legacy for the local area.

“There was also some concern about the location and appearance of the proposed electricity sub-station so we have found a design solution that connects the wind farm to the grid but replaces entirely the original substation structure and it’s location.

“We are very grateful for all the feedback we received during the consultation period.

“We see this as part of an ongoing dialogue with local communities about how we can minimise the impact for local people and maximise the benefit to the communities in the area, should Nathro Hill Wind Farm be approved.”

The consultation was able to gather insight into local needs and priorities which community benefit investment could be applied towards.

The most dominant issue was the current provision of broadband, particularly in rural areas.

In addition, respondents noted that they would welcome investment in community facilities such as community halls and churches, the road infrastructure, rural transport and in stimulating the local economy.

The proposed Nathro Hill Wind Farm will be located on the Careston Estate.

It will consist of 17 turbines with a total height of up to 135m, each able to generate up to 3.6MW, giving a maximum installed capacity of up to 61MW.

The application will be submitted in July 2012.